Saturday, June 30, 2007


I have always thought of fear and cowardice and timidity as sort of repulsive things to nurture in one's character, but somehow I left it out of my rather informal declaration of purpose ("I want to be epic"). I still want to be epic, but more essentially I want to be brave.

There are a lot of examples of people having poor bravery skills, but the internet is potentially rather public so I will summarize with: succumbing to fear is disgusting. If you are old enough to know better and have done it in front of me, rest assured that I have an indelible little bit of scorn for you that I somehow can't eradicate, and when I see you that's the first thing I think of and I have to squash it down in order to function politely.

If you disagree, you basically have to look up the Code Of The US Fighting Force, and you'll be right here with me.


Neanderthals are so weird. Unbelievably weird.
What would it be like to coexist with other species of intelligent life?
No one knows, except our ancestors and the Neanderthals, who are (probably) no one's ancestors. So weird.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wists Again

I was wisting things, because I love wisting, because it makes me so happy to see collections of things that I want and love, like a wonderful, perfect, personalized shop.

The perfection that is wisting is boundless, but what I think I was trying to say is that I always sort of admired the jacket Emily Browning wore in A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I found a picture of it and actually I think I just like Emily Browning, because that is a nicely tailored, nicely detailed ugly coat.
I think the worst part is the collar, the color, the buttons and the puffy sleeves.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I just got my final, official transcript! And 9 more in sealed envelopes! Total Community Service Hours Required: 20! Total Community Service Hours Completed: 0! Academic GPA: 3.714! Credits required: 230! Credits completed: 354! Class rank: 4 of 22!

I never got into collecting badges or medals or any of that because it seemed silly, but seeing all of my accomplishments over 4 years summarized on one sheet makes me think that if I continuously collected something it would become more meaningful in time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Who can have a summer job?

Caitlan can!

It's true. My business casual skills are still developing, though. But I work on the 17th floor of an office building. I have 4 bosses, because I am an intern and anyone at all can give me tasks, like getting coffee or filing things. But my workweek is only 15 hours, so I only have 4 people as my official bosses.

So far I have filled out a lot of paperwork, including a little that I didn't really understand about withholding money for taxes. I also got a company mug! And drank company coffee! And watched the sexual harrassment video! And and and! Got a company computer! And and and! An employee id number! Also keys to the office! I almost got keys to the company car for errands, but Mom told them I can't drive. I would have told them that too, of course.

I wasn't expecting HNTB to be just like ACLC, of course, because one is an engineering and design firm with 3000 employees nationwide and one is a charter 6-12 public school with 220 learners, but since one supplanted the other as the place I spend my time I naturally draw comparisons. It's cleaner and fancier and has more procedures to follow, but the most noticable difference is in the age. At ACLC I was either the oldest or in the oldest 10% (probably not if you count every staff member, but certainly if you go by how many were there at a given time) and so had to break up little scuffles between children and arbitrate various things for various people. At HNTB people don't get into fights over the chairs or computers, and I imagine if they did they would still be able to self regulate. I feel a little vapid and very young while I'm in that building, riding the elevator and alphabetizing and unlocking the ladies' room with my little bronze key.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I've gone soft, in my old age. I used to be hardcore anti-obsolescence. I'd eat apple cores and orange peels. I'd shop at Salvation Army and consignment stores. I'd wear clothes until they were too worn out to hold together. I once wore the same tampon for 3 days. (I was at camp. In retrospect, I should have gone to the nurse instead of washing it in the shower, but that isn't what "hardcore" means.)

I'd quietly disdain the overconsumption my friends and others indulged in ("You need a car, and your sister and parents need cars?"). I publically mocked the smartboard my math teacher got to replace the previously sufficient whiteboard*. I put things I wanted on a list each week, and if they kept showing up on the list I'd buy them. I'd salvage things from the sidewalk to decorate my bedroom (I'm still sad that someone threw away my pair of arched mirrors when we moved.). Hardcore.

What changed? I think my priorities are different. It's okay for life to be easy, for tasks to be streamlined or done away with. That's why housework took 30 hours every week in the 60s and takes 10 hours now. Not everything has to be meaningful or precise. Sometimes things are just convenient, and it won't be that way forever, because of scarcity. Carpe diem.

I am rationalizing. But I've outgrown liking the jury-rigged, the dirty, the makeshift, the second best. I can spend that energy on maintaining worthwhile things and creating wonderful things.

*Actually I'm still not over that. That man never in his entire life lay awake at night wishing he could email his students the things he writes on the whiteboard. The smartboard, like orthodontia, creates a need where there was none. It's disgusting.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Would you trade everything you own for the things on your wist? I absolutely would, even though Nick would miss my cat. (But here's a hint: if you want me to love you don't destroy things higher than you on the Hierarchy of Love, like my ipod headphones.)

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I'm not one for order, but I do keep lists. Rather a lot of lists. Lists of goals, lists of songs I need to buy, lists of people to politely ignore, lists of countries to visit, that kind of thing. And yes, I invariably lose the lists, but at least I have a general idea of what's on each one.

One important (and long) list is the Never List. This is a list of things that don't fit with my worldview or what I want from life, and so I will never, never do them. The list is not exhaustive but it has the things I do over and over again because I always forget the consequences.Nothing on the list will make me happy in any way at any time. This is the current incarnation of the Never List:

1. Flirt with BART passengers
2. Discuss race or racism
3. start a load of laundry and get in the shower
4. say insofar, inasmuch, or everso
5. go into malls or grocery stores
6. Cut my hair by myself
7. Wear things on the Never Wear List
8. Do things on the Life's Too Short List

Now, there are many things that don't need a list because they are ingrained, and that's why killing children and taking people's walkers and setting churches on fire are not on the Never List. But I have to be careful with the never list, it's not something I can automatically follow. Part of the Never List is avoiding situations that would lead to doing something on the Never List.

For instance, UC Santa Cruz has 10 colleges, Cowell, Stevenson, Crown, Merril, Porter, Kresge, Oakes, Eight, Nine, and Ten. Kresge College has a social justice focus, so joining them would violate #2 on the Never List. No problem, Caitlan Of Three Months Ago asserted. I applied to Porter, which has an arts focus. Art would be on my Always List if I needed one. The rest of this story is too depressing, and I'm sure you can see where it's going.


Before I was enlightened, I used to have the best imagination! I could imagine anything! Dying on the Titanic, being drafted, being a Spice Girl, being filled with sand, being fantastically strong... and then it just stopped. Now that I understand the world a little better I have no time to imagine anything different, because I'm busy with nuances and patterns.

It was in English that I realized I can't imagine any more. We were supposed to write little fictional dialogues, and instead I wrote one I was in and left out the boring. It happened over and over until I realized I wasn't just having off-days, I really have let that skill lapse. Now when we have to do that I adapt something I've read or dreamed.

This isn't really important but I love language and have always had "writer" on my future hobby list, and now I'll have to go with nonfiction. To that end, I collect the particularly interesting or thought provoking or just clever or baffling things people around me say (or the things I say. I say pretty good stuff sometimes.) in a little red journal.

But I didn't invent collecting things, and so here are some excellent things from

Girl: I'm not a nerd.
Boy: Yeah, you are.
Girl: Well, if I'm a nerd, you're a nerd.
Boy: No, I'm not.
Girl: Yes, you are.
Boy: No. Being a nerd is not a transitive property!

If You Were to Fill a Hat with Ice Cream...
Blonde: If you could be any flavor of ice cream, what would you be?
Redhead: Um...
Blonde: Well, you are what you eat. You can be monkey fudge!
Redhead: What?!
Blonde: Oh, wait, I mean Chunky Monkey. I'm making fun of your husband!
Redhead: You know, I'm the one drinking here.
Blonde: If you were any hat, what would you be?
Redhead: No.

I think the titles are what make them funny.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Do you know what scares me? China. I think I will take my minor in Asian Studies because someday I would like to understand it. When I try to think about China I can't get a coherent, self contained picture, it just spreads out like infinity. Eras, pronunciation, ethnic groups, major cities, industry, landmarks, geography, laws, religion, history, education, language... it feels like trying to collect the ocean in, you know, any receptacle.

China reminds me of infinity, but unlike infinity people want to talk to me about it pretty often. The world feels much smaller to me than China does. The world has 7 continents, 250 (ish) countries, 2 poles, things fall at 9.8 meters per second each second. There are 4 oceans, 6 billion (ish) people, and one moon. You see?

China... China is old. So old. So well documented. They invented writing in the most intuitive and least practical way imaginable, and that's almost what it's like today. It is the 3rd largest country in area and the very largest country by population. And that's the end of my coherent China Knowledge.

After that it devolves: China has all of the pandas, except you can lease pandas for 10 years and..... Taiwan.... something something Massacre.... more carnage ... than WWII... dynasties.... mongolia cantonese mandarin tonal language... Gobi Desert Olympics are going to be in Beijing... pearl tower... communism... puyi was last emporer of china in 1911... FOOTBINDING... so, consorts, fililial piety confucianism buddhism taoism tao te ching.... farming, rice swamps, bridges dams flooding adoption poverty, Yang Tze and Huang He... population control, martial arts, acrobats, zodiac in 4 cycles of twelve animals... paper, gunpowder, dragons, printing, compass, going blind from sweatshop work, domesticated silkworms, 1421, silk road, opium, immigration to US for railroads and goldrush, .... fighting with Japan and Korea (colonizing Japan and Korea?), tea in bricks, trade with Europe in the ....

Does that seem like an appropriate comprehension level for 18 years of accumulated trivia and facts? Did you know that I've even studied Asia twice in school, in grades 8 and 10, and that today I am graduating from high school?

I don't think I'm equipped to understand China. I like my history and my culture bite sized. A person can name every battle ever fought in my country, I'm pretty sure. That kind of thing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fun, but not too much fun. Like chess.

You know people who read dictionaries, right?
That's super boring. Try it (no, don't actually try it, just imagine yourself trying it and dismiss the idea. You know you trust me- on this at least.) and you'll see. There are so many Super Fun Dictionary Games! You're never bored with a dictionary, unless you choose to read it. My game that I play (every night; this is apparently Dork Confession Time) is to look at the top of the page-the continuation of the previous page's last entry- and then the name of the entry after it, and try to come up with what the partially defined word is. Sometimes it is easy, like "...soup." for the fragment and "consonant (n)" for the next entry. Sometimes it is very hard, so hard that I fail, such as " melting" for the fragment and "fly (n)" for the next word.

Other Super Fun Dictionary Games
-choose a page. Count the entries. Close the book, write the first and last entries, and fill in words between to see how close you can get to the original number.

-get from one word to another by looking up words from successive entries, and see how few you can use. (It's less boring if you race someone. Although if you have another person there are absolutely tons of Exciting Games, and not just for the dictionary, so forget that.)

-choose the two words from the page that are closest to antonyms, and the two that are closest to synonyms. The two that work best win, and you can keep a tally for best of five. (It's epic! Like the eternal battle of light and dark.)(If that statement didn't bother you, look up epic.)

-after you use a particular dictionary a lot, try reading a word and coming up with the exact definition. You get points off for things you've left out or got wrong, and if you've missed more things than the word has letters, you've lost. (If you find you're good at it, try "red".)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Today is Household Advice Day!

Wash your bedclothes!

I know, I always forget or worry that they won't be clean and dry by bedtime too, but it really works! My comforter smells exactly like honey now.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Hi, Internet!

For most of this afternoon I've been having little adrenaline surges that make my breathing really fast and my heart pound. I don't know why I have them, but I think it might be the glory of everything. And I can't say that to people, can I? Enlightenment isn't for everyone, (especially people with weak hearts, I suppose) and I want to avoid sounding smug. I do it all the time- I guess I'm giving it up, now. I'll save it for my new pollyanna blog, and spare my friends. Then we'll have more time to talk about the fake problems healthy and smart American teens think they have. Whee.

Today's Glories:

-sitting on cement in the sunshine painting children's nails
-crappy dorodango # 3
-board shorts
-palm fronds
-chai tea
-coco rice cereal
-english muffins
- family
-Abigail (abigail is my cat.)
-tying stuff to my wrist
-duct tape
- lotion
-anxiety (because of the adrenaline.)

So, as I guess you can see, I had a really, really good day. It doesn't have to do with what actually happens, but I try to train myself to embrace things that make me happy and ignore things that don't. (ask me if I'm graduating, btw)

You see, contrary to what doctors and my friends and family think, I am bipolar, and also autistic. I just supress it better than people who get diagnoses. And I'm not seeking treatment because I'm not into medication and doctors.

I used to be okay with it and them, actually, but two experiences really changed that. The first was when I was 14 and my doctor told me I was fat (no, she didn't use the word fat, because she was a doctor and presumably familiar with the self esteem issues 14 year old girls are so susceptable to, but that is what she meant.). I should have said "Yes, but so are you because this is America." but I think what I actually said was, "I'm perfectly healthy! I've never even been sick!" and then when she made me tell her what I usually ate I lied and said I only ate salad and candy, because I was a vegetarian. For 7 years, actually, and I gave it up last year because it was childish. Some people can rock vegetarianism (I've not met anyone who could, this is an assumption right here) but I'm not one of them. To really rock vegetarianism I think you need to let go of the morality of it, and the health of it, and that's a start. The other important bit is to reevaluate it a lot, and not be in a vegetarianism rut- "This is what I tell people I do, this is what I have the groceries for, so this is who I am" and instead re evaluate each time you are shopping. Do you want beef jerky? Beef jerky for you then. Did the cow suffer? Maybe, but I think you can get basically 5,000 sticks of beef jerky from one cow, and also look where they would be if they weren't domesticated. Extinct like the other juicy, slow and stupid species. Yes.

The second thing that drove me away from the clinical expertise of western medicine was having a boyfriend who needed behavior modifying drugs to get through the school day, and different ones to get through depression. He's still alive, not thriving but it might just be finals, or something.

Which is not to say that I approve of alternative medicine. For all my embarrassing optimism and constant delight in everything, I can be pretty cynical when it comes to herbal remedies, hypnotism, chiropractice, and whatever.

This is another thing I don't admit except when pressed (and now, when not remotely pressed), but everyone can heal themselves with positivity, and convoluted routes to positivity, like having a therapist or an acupressurist, are useless. "Please, someone hold my hand and tell me that I'm healthy and give me nettle tea and some sort of obviously super legitimate healing crystal" it's called not being 4 years old ergo not needing a kiss for your owie. Self sufficiency, people.

Alright. That got kind of vaguely abusive.
Forget it.